Is Aron Baynes a steal for Boston?- he is the man of many faces
When I chose to write about Aron Baynes, I had no idea how damn interesting this guy is. Trust that all three photos accompanying this article are of our Aron Baynes. This man is a much better player than I anticipated, and he is fascinating.
Aron is 30 years old and will be 31 in December. He is generally listed at 6'10" and 260 pounds, but I never settle for that. In 2009, Draft Express measured him at 6'10.5" w/o shoes and an even 7'0" with shoes and a wingspan of 7'2.5". SpursReport blog reports a height of seven feet. That same blog indicates an Australian site lists Baynes at 6'11.5". The important thing is that he can play. He has shown that in the two preseason games.
His stats for the two preseason games to date are very good. He is averaging 16.9 minutes, 11.0 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 1.5 APG, 1.0 SPG, 1.0 BPG. He also is shooting 61.5% from the field and turning the ball over only once per game. One of the important stats for me is the 100% free-throw shooting.
He has hit all six of his free throws through the two games. In his NBA career he has averaged 81.1% from the line in the regular season. We wont be seeing hack-a-Baynes at the end of games. Honestly, when he was signed by the Celts for one year and 4.3 million, I felt he would merely serve as a 12-14 minutes/game backup to Al Horford. He may end up playing a much more important role. If Aron's minutes were to be increased to 26.0/game, his stats may be in the vicinity of 16.5 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 2.0 APG, 1.5 SPG, 1.5 BPG
Aron's 2013-14 EuroLeague numbers were 26.2 MPG, 13.8 PPG, 9.8 RPG, 58.7% FG and 69.8% FT. Since then he spent three years in San Antonio under Coach Greg Popovich and is now under the tutelage of Brad Stevens. He has never averaged more than 16 MPG in any season in the NBA. I believe Baynes has yet to peak. Coming to the Celts, I viewed Aron merely as a big bruiser who could rebound and hold his own in the post as a defender. In other words, another Greg Kite.
The photo to the left is Baynes playing Bane, the villain from the Batman movie. Just one of his many faces. Anyway, what I anticipated is far from what I have seen so far in the exhibition season. He runs the floor well, rebounds, challenges and blocks shots, hits well from short-to-mid range with a healthy percentage and hits a high percentage on free throws. And he is definitely more mobile than I had thought. I don't see either Guerschon Yabusele or Semi Ojeleye competing with him for time in the near future. Daniel Theis, on the other hand, has played well. He always seems to be around the ball, fighting for every rebound and blocking shots. The German definitely can play.
The photo above is there to illustrate that Aron may be a legitimate seven-footer. I looked at all of the photos I could locate of both Baynes and Tim Duncan (6'11") together. Every photo showed Aron as the taller of the two. The photo also brings to mind the vision of Baynes and the Celtics organization on another Rolling Rally through Boston. There are better photos of them very close together, but I wanted the victory parade photo.
Kawhi confirmed what we've long suspected: BAYNES is sometimes held out of practice to avoid inadvertently hurting anyone.
That was always my fear with former Celtic, Greg Kite- that he would hurt a key member of the team at practice. Baynes is big and strong and backs down from no one. And he is built like a large chunk of granite. During the Celts first exhibition game against the Hornets, CSNNE's Tom Heinsohn had this comment: “I took a look at Baynes in the shower. He looks like all of Australia. He is really put together.” Aron has skills and mobility, in addition to his size, strength and aggressiveness. I just hope the man of many faces and masks takes it a bit easy in practice. We needed this guy on our team, and Danny knew it. He is fun, fascinating and definitely better than advertised. Baynes is a great addition on a team-friendly contract.
Top photo: Christopher Evans/Boston Herald
Second photo: Allen Einstein/NBAE Getty Images
Third photo via Instagram
Bottom photo: Chris Covetta/ Getty Images North America